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Growing in love of God and Neighbor: 2017-2018 Missional Report

The Dakotas Annual Conference is reaching the next person for Jesus. On Thursday morning, Annual Conference attendees learned about how the conference and churches are creating a culture of call in a variety of settings— laity pursuing new ministry paths,  new clergy growing in leadership, churches are launching new services. Nearly twenty presenters also shared the ways that the Dakotas Conference is partnering with churches, clergy, and laity to grow in love of God in neighbor and invest in the future. 

We have been focusing on developing a culture of call throughout the Dakotas. We are all called. Each call is different and yet each is an important part of the story God wants to write in and through our lives. Clergy and laity are sharing their God stories and answering God’s call. Watch videos.

One of the ways we help people who are discerning a call to pastoral ministry is through the Elisha Project. Over the past four years, 24 young adults have had the opportunity to engage in hands-on pastoral ministry, leadership and mentoring.

Attendees learned how we grow in love of God and neighbor is by putting that love into action.  Watertown First UMC. Messy Church is a multi-generational experience where everything is integrated around a central theme or Bible story—from the welcome snack to the creative activities, to the celebration time experience, all the way down to the conversation starter cards on the meal tables or meal itself.

Kensal United Methodist Church sees an average of 15-17 in worship on Sunday but there are 24-30 kids at Sunday school each week.  All of the kids in the community are invited and they can’t wait to show up each week. Watch video.


2018 Annual Conference attendees listen to all that has happened this past year. Photos by jlynn studio.

Presenters shared other ways that United Methodists in the Dakotas are growing in love of God and neighbor.

  • Andy Early is answering a call to move from being a member of the congregation to becoming the pastor for a new campus of Legacy United Methodist Church in Bismarck. 
  • Flame of Faith UMC in West Fargo has started a new worship service designed to give young families a chance to interact and fully engage in worship.
  • The Dakotas-Minnesota area is launching a new event to give everyone a chance to better understand the principles of extending the mission beyond walls, of multiplying our reach, and of making new disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This October, you’re invited to REACH. Watch video, and learn more at the REACH! website.
  • Some churches have discovered that nothing says we love you quite like caffeine. In Valley City, ND, Epworth UMC is providing a service to the community and a venue for interaction and relationship-building through the new coffee kiosk in their church parking lot. In Salem, SD, the members of Unite are providing a place to gather and a time for relationships and lattes with youth on their way to school in the morning.


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